‘O to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning unaware,
That the lowest boughs and brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bold are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!’
First verse of ‘Home-thoughts, from abroad’ by Robert Browning.
This poem was probably written at home in England in April 1845 when Browning was recalling his second tour of Italy.
I am currently in South-West France, recalling and reviewing Spring photographs of England. This photo was taken not far from the Marylebone church in which Browning married Elizabeth Barrett in 1846: 170 years ago.
The tree is a pink-cupped magnolia blossoming against a cobalt-blue sky.
This world is waking up from its winter slumber. Time to spring into action.
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